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Not many auction houses give out the number of buyers and vendors in their sale, but DNW make a habit of it and these figures can paint a useful picture. So, here are some statistics. Yes! Read on.

Of the 1155 lots, 1118 found a new home. This is very good news indeed. There were 287 buyers for the property of 76 vendors. This indicates that this type of material is being spread more thinly in the collecting fraternity. Add to this that some of the lots will have gone to the permanent and amiable captivity of institutions and it is easy to see that the supply is lessening. It is the demand which is less easy to access because when goods, any collectable goods, become rare, collectors migrate to pastures new.

What I think we can say is that these figures indicate that goods of a specialised nature will turn up less often. Further, in general the more owners there are the more regular will be the supply. This should mean that sale totals will tend to become more constant with time. Certainly, London numismatic sales in general have remained very constant indeed over the years 2000-2002. So much for the general principle indicated by this sale.

The major part of this milestone sale was taken up by the dispersal of the Richard Magor collection of medals and awards relating to India and Africa. For sure it was one of the finest collections of its type ever assembled. This accounted for £770,971 of the total and required 481 lots.

The highest price of the day was the £110,000 paid by Michael Naxton for the Indian Mutiny Victoria Cross group to Lt. John Daunt, who was severely wounded. This price is just £10,000 short of the joint auction record for two VC groups. This is a high price because Indian Mutiny VCs tend to be less highly regarded than more recent ones. It is also interesting to note that this very group set an auction record when Mr. Magor purchased it in 1973 for £2300, which was considered amazing at the time.

Lest the impecunious should despair, I shall, for a change, report the lowest price achieved from this collection – just £30. This minor event occurred twice. The first was the India General Service Medal 1936-39 (estimate £25-30) awarded to an Indian (I use the phrase geographically of the time, not of post-1947 politics – this is important) and again this small sum was required to obtain a commemorative medal of the 1905-06 visit by the Prince and Princess of Wales (later King George V and Queen Mary). The estimate was £30-40.

It is important to report the minor achievements just because they are the most common but, despite that, I guess that it would be quite hard to obtain examples of either or these medals in a hurry. What is worth noting is that the DNW cataloguer showed no prejudice against these lesser items, which makes this catalogue so worthy of preservation.

Presentation medals issued by the many and various big-wigs in India were selling very well indeed. The DNW press release tells of ‘gasps of amazement’ when it required £2600 to take home a rare Governor of Bengal silver presentation medal (1943) for loyal service. It had been estimated at £120. This was but one of many prices which it would not have been responsible to predict.

The next DNW ODM sale is scheduled for September 19.